Ha Manh Thang

Ha Manh Thang's expansive artistic practice has evolved from studies of Vietnam's cultural and social history to meditative observations of existence, journeying from symbolism and spirituality to the eventual nihilism of nothingness: where nature and physical objects find their ultimate beginning. In his earlier works, bright and imposing colours share a canvas with elements of pop-art to reflect changing attitudes in present-day Vietnam, but also to forewarn the chaos of consumerism and, by extension, capitalism. The musicality of his brushstrokes, informed by an interest in jazz and classical East Asian poetry, is carried over to later works where he contemplates the passage of time. Though at times his palette is muted, on and beyond the canvas there is a palpable exchange of energy that makes salient the notion of impermanence. 
Thắng's highly methodical and precise approach to painting  the artist labours over the planning of a composition before any paint has touched the canvas  nevertheless leaves room for his brush marks to evoke sensory experiences beyond the visual alone. His canvases, rendered in heavy impasto, almost transmute paint media into earthly materials like mud or soil, wood or stone. Underlying his narratives is an inherent emotionality, a link to the spiritual reminiscent of Dansaekhwa artists prevalent in 1970s Korea. As viewers gaze into the rough textures of his artworks, they are transported to a moment in time: in midsummer, under spring rain, or leaving behind the fading winter.
Ha Manh Thang has been featured alongside acclaimed artists such as Gerhard Richter, Marlene Dumas and Peter Doig in several international publications, including 'Painting Now' (Thames and Hudson, 2015) and 'Painting Today' (Phaidon, 2009). Having graduated from the Hanoi Fine Arts University in 2004, Thắng has held a number of notable regional and international exhibitions, including BEYOND, Affinity Art, Geneva, Switzerland; Light and Colours: Art of Vietnam, Singapore & Malaysia, ION Art Gallery, Orchard Turn, Singapore; Passage of Time, Affinity Art, Hong Kong; I Bienal del Sur: Pueblos en Resistencia, Museo de Bellas Artes, Caracas, Venezuela; Fading Dreams - Disintegrating Realities, Thavibu Gallery, Bangkok, Thailand; Instruments of Meditation: Works of Art from the Zoltán Bodnár Collection, Reök Palace, Budapest, Hungary; Ha Manh Thang and Le Qui Thong in the Bodnár Collection, NextArt Galéria, Budapest, Hungary; Connect: Kunstzene Vietnam, ifa Galleries, Berlin and Stuttgart; Post Doi Moi: Vietnamese Art After 1990, Singapore Art Museum, Singapore; and The rain and the small stream, presented by Ernst & Young Asean Art Outreach programme, Singapore.
Hà Mạnh Thắng currently lives and works in Hanoi.